England to resist Republic of Ireland approach for Lee Carsley

The former Irish international is building an impressive managerial career after securing England’s first under-21 European Championships victory in 39 years this summer

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Tuesday 12 September 2023 12:19 BST
<p>Lee Carsley is highly rated at the FA </p>

Lee Carsley is highly rated at the FA

The Football Association will resist any attempt from Ireland to appoint England under-21 manager Lee Carsley, should Irish boss Stephen Kenny be sacked.

Ireland have just suffered successive defeats to France and Netherlands and while those would otherwise be respectable performances, they come on the back of a series of poor results that have now all but ended the hopes of Euro 2024 qualification.

While Kenny is widely expected to be given the rest of this campaign, a failure to claim a play-off place - which is now dependent on results in other groups - could well end three difficult years in charge of the Irish team.

A former Irish international, Carsley has long been admired by the Football Association of Ireland, and is seen as the next main target for the senior job whenever that may be.

He bolstered his growing reputation in the summer with England's first under-21 European Championships victory in 39 years, beating Spain in the final.

That has only added to Carsley's value within the FA, though, where he is seen as the sort of figure who could eventually succeed Gareth Southgate as senior manager.

While there would be the expectation that England go for a more established club manager when Southgate eventually departs, a growing school of thinking is that the international game demands different qualities.

Southgate himself is one of a few examples from high-profile European nations who have succeeded by promoting from the underage squads.

There has been a feeling Carsley's year-to-year under-21 contract could mean he is attainable by Ireland, but any approach would be met with resistance by the FA.

Other names that have been mentioned in circles around the top of the Irish football hierarchy are Ipswich Town's Kieran McKenna and even Rafael Benitez. While the latter would be hugely expensive but potentially open to the job in the future, McKenna is seen as even more difficult due to Ipswich’s huge investment in a Premier League promotion push.

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